THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (Icaz) held its 95th anniversary congress in Victoria Falls recently.
Tinashe Rwodzi was elected the new president of the institute taking over from Walter Mupanguri. The Zimbabwe Independent senior reporter Kudzai Kuwaza (KK) spoke to Rwodzi (TR) to find out his goals and other issues affecting the institute.
KK: What goals have you set for your term of office?
TR: As part of our endeavour to maintain and improve our relevance, we craft rolling three-year strategies. Thus, on June 28 and 29, the Icaz presidium, council, chief executive and management met and formulated the strategy for the 2013 to 2016 period.
The resultant draft strategy, which will be put to council for consideration and adoption, with or without amendments, sets out the following mission: “To enhance the standing and recognition of the qualification of chartered accountants (CAs), locally and internationally, for the benefit of its members and to support them in providing quality services in the public interest.”
The strategy document is thus founded on the principles of protection of public interest and enhancement of member services.
It also sets out the following major goals for the institute:
Improve and strengthen the financial status of the institute (increase membership, enhance collection of contributions, etc);
Create a centre of excellence;
Maintain and improve the quality of members to international standards;
Improve monitoring of CAs in the market;
Improve the CA brand’s visibility and standing;
Enhance services to members;
Improve efficiency and effectiveness of internal support systems; and
Improve our influence in the economy, both locally and globally by, among other things, actively participating in regional organisations — sharing our views and leading on relevant topical issues like taxation:
participating in industry organisations,
leading in upholding good corporate governance,
working closely with regulators, and
signing more mutual recognition agreements.
Detailed action plans are being finalised for the implementation of these goals.
KK: What are you doing as an institute to strengthen your financial base which is mainly reliant on subscriptions from members?
TR: It is important that we collect enough income from subscriptions to cover our operating expenses. To this extent, we are undertaking the following measures:
Stepping up our collection efforts to ensure all our members pay their subscriptions on time;
Following up on all those that are qualified, but are not registered members of Icaz to register and become members;
Offering incentives (such as discounts on rejoining fees) to those whose membership has lapsed to encourage them to renew their membership; and
Continue to improve the range and quality of our services to members to retain current members and attract new members.
These measures will also include: continuing professional development courses, technical support, presentations on topical issues, networking sessions, maintaining current and signing new mutual recognition agreements with other prominent accountancy institutes, setting up a centre of excellence for the use and benefit of our members and increasing the membership of our new membership category — Articled Accountant.
These efforts will be complemented by specific fundraising activities to fund specific projects.
KK: You have been involved in the crafting of a national code of corporate governance. How far have you gone with this?
TR: The final draft of the code on corporate governance is now ready. What is left is to launch it and preparations are in progress for this.
KK: How will the code benefit Icaz?
TR: The code will promote good corporate governance in Zimbabwe, including the preparation of credible financial statements that are true, fair and reliable.
Icaz members play a key role in the preparation, overseeing and auditing of these financial statements.
KK: In terms of financial prudence, what steps should accountants/financial managers take in order to help resuscitate companies.
TR: Instituting best practices and accountability, minimising expenses, promoting efficiencies and maximising revenue will be of great help in this regard. This should be complemented by identifying high-risk areas and devising ways of eliminating or, at least, minimising these risks.
KK: Icaz gave its submissions on the new Income Tax Bill. Are you happy with the final document?
TR: We appreciate that some of our recommendations were taken on board, but not all of them. We will continue, through our tax and other legislation committee, to engage the authorities in an endeavour to address our submissions that were not taken on board as well as new issues that will be raised by both taxpayers and practitioners in future.
KK: Who is Tinashe Rwodzi?
TR: I am the managing partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Zimbabwe and Malawi. I joined the then Price Waterhouse as a trainee accountant and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1987 and was admitted to Icaz in 1988.
I rose through the ranks to become a senior audit manager and admitted into partnership in 1994 as an audit partner. I was promoted to head of audit and business assurance services in 2002 before being appointed managing/senior partner in 2007.
I am a member of various professional bodies which are Icaz, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and Council of Estate Administrators.
I am also a member of various boards including the PWC Southern Africa governing board Icaz council, national code on corporate governance — chairperson of steering committee and the Institute of Directors, council member and chairperson of finance and administration committee. In addition to being managing partner, I also serve as an audit partner, looking after a diverse portfolio of clients covering mining, financial services, manufacturing, retail, service and trade.